That First Twelve Minutes

According to research from Sophos, there's a 50 percent chance unprotected Windows PCs will be compromised within 12 minutes of going online.

Sophos came to that conclusion based on research covering the last six months of virus activity. The company said authors of malware such as spam, viruses, phishing scams and spyware have increased both the volume and sophistication of their assaults, releasing almost 8,000 new viruses in the first half of 2005 and increasingly teaming up in joint ventures to make money. The new-virus figure is up 59 percent on the same period last year."